Oral health is fundamental, and the word “root canal” is often greatly feared. We explain what it is and how to end the pain when the filling is not enough.

The oral hygiene is not just a matter of aesthetics, that is, to wear a nice smile, but it is a matter of fact dental health . As health care must be taken from other parts of the body, so does the mouth.

Caries and its treatment

Occasionally teeth suffer destruction of their tissues by several factors, mainly by agents of infections caused by bacterial plaque. When decay affects the outermost layers of the tooth or the tooth as the enamel, this can be remedied by eliminating the cavities and placement instead of a filling. However, if decay progresses in depth, the simple removal of the tooth and the filling to be insufficient. More specifically, if the infection has reached the deepest part of the tooth, called pulp, is a major operation needed something more than just a filling, but also is ambulatory and does not require postoperative rest. This operation is endodontics.


As explained, the central part of the tooth is pulp, which are the blood vessels that nourish the tooth and the corresponding rib; also the corresponding tooth pulp is in communication with the jawbone, so infection could lead to an infection of the same if not treated. If the bacteria have reached this place, these tissues are already affected by the infection and this can not be combated with a cleaning or as the filling or with antibiotics. In this case, the infection can only be removed following a surgical procedure consisting essentially of two steps:


¤First, proceeding to completely remove the pulp, including nerve and blood vessels
¤Subsequently sealing the cavity which is left with some kind of suitable material.

When deciding to perform a root canal

Like any type of surgery, the corresponding professional must assess when it is advisable or necessary to perform a root canal. This requires studying the status of the affected part, the degree of health or impairment, which means essentially whether the pulp is affected, which is easily verified with a radiograph of the tooth or tooth being considering. You can also use several clinical trials designed primarily to establish the degree of vitality of the pulp and other factors.

In addition to these tests, the dentist will take into account in its decision factors such as visual inspection and palpation of the affected part and the adjacent tissues to check its status, medical history and dental patient and the history of it, is say, the questioning of the patient to tell how the subjectively perceived pain sensation in the affected part and overall general health. Subjective assessment of pain is important, because the pain that occurs when the pulp is affected is different from the pain of tooth surface. Also sometimes observed color change of the piece, pain to heat or cold or even no pain if the condition has destroyed the nerve. From these data, the professional will decide if the piece has a degree of involvement that required root canal or other therapeutic approaches are preferred, including in extreme cases removal of the piece.

Procedure: removing the pulp

If applicable endodontics, the first step is to remove the diseased pulp. Previously, a local anesthetic and prepare the operating field and proceeded to isolate the part. Therefore, the root canal does not hurt at all . An incision is made ​​in the same as small as possible, so as to reach the damaged pulp. From here, the affected root tissue is cleaned, is removed with suitable instrumentation. Since the infection can affect one or more root canals of the tooth, root canals can be classified according to this criterion:

¤Single-rooted, if the infection involves a piece with a single root, and therefore with a single pulp canal.
¤Birradicular, if infection occurs in a room with two roots, with two pulp canals.
¤Polirradicular, if infection occurs in one piece with more than two roots, with more than two channels pulp.

Procedure: sealing the cavity

After extraction of the pulp, the pulp cavity is filled with an empty suitable material. Often used perch, a rubbery rubber latex manufactured, although sometimes the use of other materials such as cement or porcelain. Thus, the cavity is filled. While there has been devitalized by the glass have been removed fueling the piece, the infection has been eliminated.

Pros and cons of endodontics

As seen, the root canal is a surgical technique must be applied when the infection of a part has reached the pulp but still not be severe enough to require removal of the tooth. Not to be feared that it be performed only when necessary is advised, though, as in any field of health, it is better to prevent possible infection before eventually need a root canal. Devitalization of the piece must be accepted as a lesser evil, because at least this can be preserved, the extraction has been avoided. It is sometimes useful placement of a dental crown to maintain the integrity of the part and for aesthetic reasons. Finally it should be noted that sometimes the root canal can fail or prove inadequate, we must make periodic checks of dental health. While this uncertainty can not be removed completely, it is best placed in the hands of most competent professional, for health is not a matter to be taken lightly.